I see a lot of videos now of guys wearing knee wraps in squatting while doing sets of 8 or more reps. I have no idea why guys are doing this.
If you wear knee wraps, cool. Wear them for your sets of doubles and triples. These are the sets that build your limit strength.
If you are doing sets of 8+, you should not be wearing them. The whole purpose of these sets are to build the musculature involved in squatting. Take them off, throw your belt on (or not) and do work. I see a lot of guys now that I feel do things for the purpose of youtube accolades and e-golf claps.
People have stopped understanding the reasons for doing something or not doing something.
So just to offer up a simple guideline.....
Sets of 2-5 reps = knee wraps are cool
Sets of 8+ = don't wear em
No different than straps and pulling. No one should be using straps to pull just a few weeks out from a meet. Train like you have to compete. You won't be using straps come meet time, so why are you using them for training to prepare? Again, I have no idea why guys are doing this. The mechanics in the pull aren't the same. I think this is why I see guys pulling 700+ for reps easily but then can barely pull that for a single come the meet. Why? The movement is totally different. So you're not training your competition pull when you throw the straps on.
If you wanna wear straps to get some reps in, use the same mentality I outlined for knee wraps.
Sets of 2-5 = no straps
Sets of 8+ = throw em on for "assistance work"
After my 405 triple last night on incline I received a lot of questions about why I do incline so close to a meet, and how or why I feel it helps my bench.
I've been over the latter too many times to count now. So I will address the former.
Benching really beats me up after a while. I can generally bench for 3-4 weeks before my pec tendons get sore, and my elbows go to shit. Incline doesn't beat me up as bad as benching, even if I go heavy on it. And because I get good carryover from incline to bench, it's a great option that allows me to still train heavy when I can't train bench.
Generally how I manage this for a meet is to set up the strong-15 short cycle with three bench days, and two days of incline.
week 1 - bench
week 2 - incline
week 3 - bench
week 4 - incline
week 5 - bench
However this cycle I've felt more awful than usual, and ended up doing incline the last two weeks.
I can tell you that anyone I've set this type of cycle up for has had tremendous success in increasing their bench with it. Most guys bench far too much, and avoid incline because guess what? It's hard. Well if it's hard, you should be doing it and trying to find a way to get better at it. Not avoiding it because it hurts your clitoris.
"What about your elbow wraps, Paul? You wear those!"
I do. However it's because if I don't wear them, my elbows hurt so bad the next few days I can barely pick up a gallon of anything. Years of being stupid with shit like 185 pound skull crushers and the like will do that to you. So I have to baby them now. Come meet time, I try to have a pretty extended amount of time off from heavy pressing so that they don't bother me on meet day. Trust me, I wish I did not have to wear them at all, and I don't throw them on until the last few heavy sets of pressing.
If your knees hurt like that on squats, then yeah throw on knee wraps for squatting sets of 8+. However, I don't feel like this is the case most of the time. I feel like it's because guys egos take a serious youtube hit when they knee wraps come off. Until a few months ago, I had never benched more in elbow wraps than out of them. I hope to fix this once again after relentless.